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Election 2015: a passion pit 

Street Smarts

Elections like the one coming up April 7 seem to generate less and less interest. What gives?

click to enlarge Marissa Tiroly

Marissa Tiroly of the west side is an elementary teacher.

How much do next month's elections interest you? I'm mildly interested, but not knowledgeable.

Why is participation in local elections so low? People are so disenchanted with the system that they think it's not worth trying to save. Their one vote won't make any difference.

What's the biggest political problem in Colorado Springs at present? Education, community rec and park programs, roads and infrastructure keep getting low funding priority.

How good a mayor or city councilperson would you make? I'd be pretty good by the end of my term, but I'd have a steep learning curve. I'd need lots of on-the-job learning about how things work politically.

click to enlarge Frank Liebner

Frank Liebner of Larkspur works for the State Department.

What could be done about low turnouts in local elections? I like the European model. Voting takes place on Sunday, and if you don't vote, they tax you.

Rate Steve Bach's job as mayor. I've only lived here a year-and-a-half, but he seems to have done a good job as politicians go.

How good a mayor would you make? A good one. I'm ultra-conservative, I wouldn't put up with B.S., and I'd make sure folks get an honest answer. My entire life has been about service. I could have been a billionaire by now, but instead I went around the world fighting somebody else's wars. Now it's my time.

As mayor, what would you emphasize? Voting. Everybody should have a vote, and if they don't exercise that right, I'd take it away from them.

click to enlarge Tom Smithwick

Tom Smithwick of the north side is a business owner.

What's your level of interest in April's elections? Mild. Local elections are probably more pertinent than state or national elections, though.

Why such low turnout in local elections? People know the system is dishonest. They take our tax money up front and go from there. People understand that elections are no longer an avenue for change.

Rate Steve Bach's performance as mayor. Given the constraints of the system, I think he's tried. He's in bed with the developers, though.

If you could pick the next mayor, who would it be? My mom. She has heart and integrity. Not one of my attempts to influence her financially budged her an inch. I'd absolutely vote for her.

How good a mayor or city councilperson would you make? A pretty darn good one. My first act would be to abolish both offices.

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